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The Cost of Decision Making

March 13, 2017

 IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

 

The previous post explored how Discipline Yields Freedom. It's the idea that through structure and regimen, one is liberated to make more choices. Check it out in our last post.

In this post we will explore how absent that structure, we begin to tax our ability to make decisions.

 

THE COST OF DECISION MAKING

 

I believe each day we are granted a limited capacity to make decisions. I'll refer to it as Decision Making HP*.

 

*HP stands for Hit Points. In the video game world, it refers to how much damage your character can take before he/she is defeated. In a life without discipline, that bar runs pretty low for most.

Take Free Spirit Fred for example. I will allocate him 10 HP.

06:30 - - ALARM!
Fred, “What time is it? Should I get up and workout? Eh…” SNOOZE. (-1 HP)
06:45 - - ALARM!
Fred“Ugh, already? 10 more minutes” SNOOZE (-1 HP)
07:15 - - Fred wakes up, glances at the clock, “OH NO, I'm late!” Rushing and attempting to determine what he can get done with his remaining time, “Should I skip the shave, or doing my hair? No time for both.” (-1 HP)
07:40 - - Running out the door, trying to makeup time, “Highway, or back roads?” (-1 HP)
07:50 - - Stomach rumbling, “Dang, I didn't pack anything. Drive thru or wait til lunch?” (-1 HP)
07:55 - - “How Can I Help You?”
“Hmm…” Fred thinks, “I wonder if I should go with the low calorie…”
“Two donuts and a large coffee please!” (-1 HP)
08:12 - - “Should I tell the boss about the alarm issue? Or just sneak over to my desk and get started?” (-1 HP)

 

Now with only 3 HP left, Fred has to navigate the rest of his day, and work just started. How effectively will he be making his work based decisions today?

Next, we will examine Disciplined Dan.

05:00 - - Enters the kitchen, sits to read
05:30 - - 2 eggs scrambled, 1 English muffin, lightly toasted with butter, glass of water, coffee black no sugar.
06:00 - - Workout. It's Wednesday so Upper Body then Cardio to finish
07:00 - - Shower
07:15 - - Get Dressed
07:30 - - Leave for work

 

You get the idea - - very regimented, some may say boring. But, Dan can get through his entire morning without having to make a decision. This keeps him on time and sends him off to his high-stress job with 100% Decision Making HP.

Can you relate to either example above. Do you identify with Fred most mornings? If so try this!

 

Action Item:
Prior to going to sleep for the night, map out your morning. Write out what you will do ahead of time so that you won't need to decide tomorrow.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

It's easiest come to conform to habit but, is it optimal? You may be used to going to bed late, thinking, “I always have so much to do at night, I could never get to bed sooner.”

I encourage you to explore that thinking further. If you could wake up earlier, with energy, what could you accomplish in the morning?

How much would it improve your mindset if you didn't start your day stressed? Chaotically running around, rushing to get out of the house…

It can be changed but it starts by taking one step to shift your momentum. Try the action step above or, find other areas in your life that can be made more efficient by planning ahead. The results may be life changing.

 

THANK YOU!

 

Per usual, thank you so much for reading! If you find this useful and want to contribute to the production of more habit change tips, please support by clicking this button…

 

DONATE

 

I look forward to hearing your feedback in the comment section below.

 

*I wish could take credit for this term, I know I have heard it somewhere but through multiple Google searches I'm still unable to find a source.

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